While Todd Snider is best known as a witty and insightful songwriter, in 2013 he gathered together a handful of friends who are also gifted musicians and let some of his favorite songwriters do the talking for a change. Hard Working Americans is a new band that features Snider on vocals and guitar, along with guitarist Neal Casal (of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood), bassist Dave Schools (from Widespread Panic), keyboardist Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), and drummer Duane Trucks (King Lincoln).
In 2013, singer and songwriter Todd Snider formed Hard Working Americans, a roots rock/jam band supergroup featuring musicians who'd previously worked with Widespread Panic, Col. Bruce Hampton, Ryan Adams, Chris Robinson, Great American Taxi, and others. For their first album, Hard Working Americans recorded a batch of songs about work from other artists, but Rest in Chaos is their first full-length set of original material. Mixing humor with pointed social satire, Rest in Chaos finds Snider and his group tackling both darker moods and high-spirited rock.
After two albums, Todd Rundgren had one hit and a burgeoning cult following, plus growing respect as a hitmaking record producer. There's no question he was busy, but as it turns out, all this work only scratched the surface of his ambition….
Billed as the first official collection of live bootleg recordings, the triple-disc For Lack of Honest Work is a live anthology stretching back to live-in-the-studio recordings of “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference” and “Broke Down and Busted” in Philadelphia from 1971 and running all the way to 2006, when Todd belts out “I Hate My Frickin’ ISP” in Toronto. In between these extremes are many other extremes – Todd indulging in the early days of Utopia, cuts from his A Cappella tour, a doo wop arrangement of “Real Man,” a synthesized piss-take of “Bang on the Drum,” a solo electric “Hammer in Your Heart,” slickly accomplished on-stage jamming – all loosely arranged so the first disc contains the poppiest material, the second the proggiest, the third his mature phase. It’s not quite a straight-on realist portrait but a hazy abstract impression of Todd’s multifaceted abilities, with the overall range being somewhat more impressive than individual moments.